Table Topics: Multi-Ethnic Societies – How Do We Get Along, If You Are Not Like Me? (Bouke de Vries)
Living with people from different cultural or religious affiliations backgrounds need not result in conflict. In this respect, the title ‘how do we get along, if you are not like me’ overstates the challenge that diversity poses to social stability and cohesion. Nonetheless, when disagreements arise about the conditions for living together (i.e. about the terms under which people can practice their different cultures and religions), diversity may lead to conflict among (cultural) groups. In the WeberWorldCafé, I’d like to focus on some of these disagreements. Possible topics include, but are not limited to, the limits of free speech, abortion, the teaching of evolutionary biology, veiling, ritual slaughtering, and pornography. All of these issues have sparked vexing debates within diverse societies.
Bouke de Vries is a PhD at the European University Institute in Florence and recently at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity. His dissertation focuses on liberal neutrality and toleration and under what conditions liberal states may burden peaceable comprehensive doctrines of citizens and non-citizen residents. He holds several degrees from the University of St Andrews (MPhil) and King’s College London (MA), as well as a degree in Arts and Culture from Maastricht University (BA).